Ghana: PMI dives to record low in March
The Ghana Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) sank to 41.4 in March, from 52.6 in February, marking the lowest on record. As such, the index plummeted below the critical 50-threshold that separates improvement from deterioration in Ghanaian business conditions for the first time since September 2018.
The sharp downturn was predominantly driven by the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic which forced the government to order business shutdowns. This, combined with a collapsing consumer demand, led to the sharpest reductions in both output and new orders since the survey began in January 2014. In a similar fashion, unemployment soared and business confidence plunged in the surveyed month, while input costs and output prices fell at the fastest rate on record.
Commenting on the result, Andrew Harker, Associate Director at IHS Markit, said:
“The March PMI data for Ghana provide sobering evidence of the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic is already having on the country’s economy, with declines in output, new orders and employment far worse than anything else seen in more than six years of data collection so far. The supply side of operations was also affected, with difficulties sourcing materials reported, in
particular those from China. The outbreak comes at a time when the private sector had been in a run of solid growth. The extent of the overall damage to the economy will depend on how long it takes for COVID-19 to be brought under control.”